Hooded Menace – The Toilet ov Hell Interview
Hoods, cowls, helms; shrouds, diadems; masks; veils; paints; visors; bandanas; it is an endless list.
For some reason, lesser humans have an innate cowardly fear: that which obscures the face. It’s an engendered and primal connotation of mystique, of secrecy . . . of a hidden lurking menace. What I’ve learned over years of failed attempts is you cannot simply slap on a hood, shamble drunkenly through a foggy graveyard on the winter solstice, then expect people to cower or flee from your terrible visage. It takes a very real and incipient threat to achieve this desired effect. Not dissimilar to the modern-day catholic priest, Hooded Menace have perfected the art of trvly expressing the ill-will necessary.
I’ll assume that Hooded Menace is already familiar to most here at the TXXLXT XX HXLL, so I wont spend a lot of time describing their sound and discography. If you’re unacquainted, these Finnish death-doom stalwarts eagerly proffer commination with 2014’s Gloom Immemorial. Pondering the fate of my own dark soul, hearing subtle and nuanced changes in sound, I reached out to the band’s progenitor, frontman Lasse Pyykkö, for an update.
BLACKBEARD: What is the meaning behind the name Hooded Menace? The relation to the Blind Dead series? Can just anyone become a hooded menace?
Lasse Pyykkö: Yeah, the name refers to the undead Knights Templar of the Blind Dead movies. Anyone? Be my guest.
BB: I just recently got my hands on your compilation Gloom Immemorial, which consists of your more recent split and EP material. There seems to be an even greater shift towards the mid-tempo, a wider variety of melody-driven riffs and “hooks,” if you will. Is this something that will continue for Hooded Menace?
LP: Exactly. Yeah, the new album will be even more melodic, but of course it’s still very heavy and forlorn sounding material. There’s plenty of really slow stuff coming up, and the songs are longer, each one clocking around 10 minute mark, hence there´ll be only four songs on the album.
BB: Effigies of Evil came out in 2012, since then it has been only short-form releases, put out by Doomentia. Can we expect a new full-length LP from Hooded Menace in 2015?
LP: Yes you can, if things go as planned. We’ll be hitting Skyhammer Studio in the UK in April to record with Chris Fielding, who has turned the knobs for bands such as Electric Wizard, Moss, Napalm Death and The Wounded Kings. We wish to see the album out in the latter half of 2015.
BB: I would buy Hooded Menace albums solely because of the album art. D’Andrea and Misanthropic-Art have done impressive work for Hooded Menace. Who would you choose to do the next album art?
LP: Actually we have already hooked up someone for the job, but I don’t think we want to reveal the information yet. It’s going to be something quite different than before, that much I can tell.
BB: Can we expect something out of Phlegethon, or any of your other projects, any time soon? Is there any chance you’ll work with Acid Witch again?
LP: Ruinebell (Pekka and myself teamed up with Dopi from now defunct Machetazo) 12″ EP entitled Embers’ Grave (Doomentia), and Swarming (me with Rogga Johansson) Cacophony of Ripping Flesh – Recordings 2010-2012 CD (Dead Beat Media) will be released this year. I haven’t written any new Phlegethon stuff nor have any kind of plans for the band at the moment. Recently we actually considered about jamming with the original line up, but it turned out that everyone wasn’t into it, so it seems the band will stay defunct in the future as well. It wouldn’t be the same if I tried to do it as some kind of a solo project or something, just as those 2006 and 2007 demos were, basically. What comes to Acid Witch, I don’t see any reason why I should work with them again. They have a singer in the band.
BB: We’re here at the beginning of a new year. Have you made any resolutions, personal or for Hooded Menace?
LP: Not really, but I can promise you the new Hooded Menace album will be our most DOOM-laden to date. Take it as a new year’s resolution or simply as a fact (laughs).
BB: Mr. Pyykkö, thanks for taking the time to answer a handful of questions for our little community! Is there anything you would like to add? Final words?
LP: Not much to add! Thanks for the interview! Very much appreciated!
As always, I’d like to thank my interviewee. It shouldn’t confound that I greatly respect Señor Pyykkö des Hooded Meance y todos los involucrados. I believe we have a great album lying in wait for 2015 in their new one.